2019/2020

PhD

  1. To be eligible for consideration for entry to a programme of study and research for the Degree of PhD, a candidate must have obtained a standard of at least Second Class Honours, Grade I, in an approved primary degree, or other such other evidence under the University's policy for Recognition of Prior Learning for Admission to Research Degrees. Any additional specific School/Departmental requirements are outlined in Appendix 1 below. In addition, applicants for a thematic structured PhD programmes will be subject to entry and application requirements as specified in the University Calendar entry for that programme.
  2. All applications for admission to a PhD programme shall be considered and approved by the Head of School/Department/local Graduate Studies Committee in which the programme is to be pursued.
  3. In circumstances where applicants do not meet standard entry requirements, applications recommended for approval by the School/Department will be subject to final approval by the relevant College Graduate Studies Committee, and will be reported to the Academic Council Graduate Studies Committee.
  4. If a student's application is approved, s/he must register as a PhD candidate for the years prescribed, as a minimum. Students will complete a minimum of 3 years, full-time, or 6 years, part-time, unless a shorter period of registration is approved at application stage by the School/Department on the basis of advanced academic standing.
  5. In the case of students submitting a thesis in a language discipline, or in the case of students undertaking a joint PhD, if the thesis is to be submitted in a language other than English, this must be stated and agreed when the student is approved for the programme.
  1. If a student wishes to change his/her subject area, the change must be approved by the School/Department.
  2. All PhD students must register and pay fees each year until submission of their thesis.
  3. Students may be permitted, under certain circumstances, to take a Leave of Absence for a specific period, subject to the approval of the supervisor, School/Department and relevant College. Full details are available here.
  4. Unless permission is given to the candidate by the Supervisor(s) and Head of School/Department to work elsewhere under the general direction of the Supervisor(s), the research for the Degree will be carried out in the School/Department mainly responsible for the subject area concerned but, where the research is inter-disciplinary in nature, there will be due co-operation between the School(s)/Department(s) involved.
  5. A candidate for a PhD Degree will normally submit his/her thesis during the final year of approved registration. Candidates are allowed a maximum of six years in which to complete the Degree from their approved start date. If candidates do not complete the Degree within six years from their approved start date they must re-apply to the School/Department for an extension and undergo a formal progress review.
  1. All PhD students will either have a minimum of two Supervisors, or a Supervisor and a PhD Advisor.
  2. The Head of School/Department will nominate the staff to supervise the candidate's research, following consultation with the School/Departmental Graduate Studies Committee. The name of the supervisor(s)/advisor should be forwarded when the candidate's name is submitted to School/Department for approval.
  3. The roles and responsibilities of Supervisors and Advisors are outlined in the Policy on Models of Supervision at UCC. Team supervision is encouraged in all cases and must apply in the following cases: where a proposed supervisor has not previously supervised or co-supervised a PhD student to graduation; where the proposed supervisor is not a permanent member of staff; where the proposed supervisor does not have a doctoral degree; where a student is undertaking inter-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary research.
  4. In the case of sole supervision with an Advisor, the proposed PhD supervisor must be a permanent member of academic or research staff whose contract (or age in the case of retirement) must be such that they will be at UCC for at least 3 years from the start of the PhD.
  5. In the case of a thematic structured programme where the supervisor is not identified at the start of the programme, it is the responsibility of the Programme Director to ensure that a member of staff is nominated to supervise each student once the research area has been identified. This should be forwarded to College/Faculty for approval and noted on the student's record.
  6. In the case of an Interdisciplinary Programme, the Chair of the Board of Studies may assume the role of a Head of School/Department and the Board of Studies may assume the role of the School/Departmental Graduate Studies Committee, where appropriate and where approved by relevant Heads of School/Department.
  7. Each PhD student should undergo, at a minimum, an annual review of their progress, including a review of their completion of modules as part of the requirements of the structured PhD model, as outlined below. This will be overseen by the Graduate Studies Committee of the academic unit, centre or programme in which the student is registered, as described in the policy document: The Roles of Graduate Studies Committees and the Operation of Progress Reviews for Research Students. Please note an extension to PhD study will not be granted unless a student has undergone a satisfactory progress review and outlined a plan for completion.

  1. Candidates will pursue a course of research, study and personal and professional development as prescribed by their Supervisor(s). PhD candidates undertake an equivalent student workload of 90 ECTS credits for each calendar year of full-time research, or proportional equivalent for part-time students. Students will complete a minimum of 270 credits (3 years, full-time) and a maximum of 360 credits, for consideration for the award of PhD.
  2. Research leading to the PhD dissertation must comprise at least 240 credits within the overall programme.
  3. All students must take a minimum of 15 credits of coursework and training over the course of the PhD, of which a minimum of 5 credits must consist of courses taken at UCC. Any additional module requirements are outlined in Appendix 2.
  4. Students may take coursework and training up to a maximum of 90 credits as part of 4 years of PhD study as advised by their Supervisor(s). The maximum level of coursework and training which can be taken in a 3-year PhD programme is 30 credits. Details of postgraduate training modules are described under the heading Modules for Postgraduate Training.
  5. Students registered in particular Schools/Departments as detailed in Appendix 2 below, or thematic structured PhD programmes, will follow the corresponding requirements regarding coursework and thesis preparation as outlined in the University Calendar.
    In order to submit their thesis, a student who is registered on the Structured PhD must have completed the minimum level of non-thesis elements (i.e., 15 credits).

Examination

The regulations and procedures for the conduct of the PhD examination can be found in the Procedures for Submission and Examination of Doctoral Degrees in University College Cork here.

Appendix 1: Discipline-Specific Entry Criteria

  1. In the case of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, suitably qualified candidates (1H or 2H1 in a primary degree) will register on a PhD track (i.e. provisional registration for a PhD) in the first instance. Students will be subject to a review within 12 to 18 months from the date of registration and will be required to demonstrate progress in the form of a minimum of 10,000 words of written work, as well as defending their work at interview. Students may then, on the recommendation of the Head of School/Department and the Supervisor(s), transfer to the PhD.
  2. In the case of Creative Writing a candidate must normally have obtained a standard of at least Second Class Honours, Grade I, in a relevant Masters degree such as Creative Writing, English Literature or History. Candidates with a Second Class Honours, Grade 1 in a relevant primary degree and evidence of advanced writing experience will also be considered.
  3. In the case of the PhD in Creative Practice candidates must normally hold at least a Second Class Honours, Grade I, in a relevant Masters degree in one of the proposed arts disciplines of their PhD project, such as Dance, Theatre, Music, Film, Radio, Visual Arts, Digital Arts, Creative Writing. Candidates are also expected to have professional experience in the arts. Candidates with a Second Class Honours, Grade 1 in a relevant primary degree and evidence of advanced arts experience will also be considered.
  4. To be eligible for consideration to enter on a programme of study and research for the Degree of PhD in Film and Screen Media (Creative Practice), a candidate must normally have obtained a standard of at least Second Class Honours, Grade I, in a relevant Masters degree such as Film Studies, Communications/Media, Art History, Creative Writing, English Literature, Modern Languages/Cultures, or History. Candidates with a Second Class Honours, Grade 1 in a relevant primary degree and evidence of advanced creative experience will also be considered. This should constitute a substantial portfolio of relevant creative film or video work, of at least five years duration.
  5. In the case of the PhD in Original Composition (Music), a candidate must normally hold an honours Master's Degree, or its equivalent, specialising in original composition or, in exceptional circumstances, an experienced composer with a substantial record of achievement may be admitted to the programme on the basis of a primary degree of an appropriate standard.
  6. To be eligible to enter on a programme of study and research for the Degree of PhD in Spanish/Hispanic Studies, applicants should normally have an MA in Spanish/Hispanic Studies.
  7. To be eligible to enter on a programme of study and research for the Degree of PhD in Greek and Roman Civilisation, applicants must have obtained at least 15 credits in either Greek or Latin by completing LT6001 or LT6101 in the case of Latin, or GK6001 or GK6101 in the case of Greek, or their equivalent.
  8. Candidates for the PhD in Greek and Roman Civilisation who are admitted with a Joint Honours degree in Latin or Greek are required to register under the rubric of the degree language.
  9. In the case of the PhD in Government and Politics a candidate must normally hold at minimum a Second Class Honours Master's Degree in Politics or an approved cognate Master's Degree and/or present such other evidence as will satisfy the Government and Politics Convenor (in consultation with the Government and Politics Graduate Studies Committee), the prospective Supervisor and the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences of his/her fitness. This may include the submission of a sample essay (max. 5,000 words), which the applicant considers to be typical of their best undergraduate or Master's work. All candidates must submit a research proposal with the application following consultation with the prospective Supervisor and the Government and Politics Convenor.
  10. In the case of the PhD in History of Art a candidate must normally hold at minimum a Second Class Honours Grade I Master's Degree in History of Art or an approved cognate Master's Degree. In exceptional circumstances, applications for PhD track (i.e. provisional registration for a PhD) may be accepted from candidates holding a First-Class Honours primary degree in History of Art. 
  11. In the case of the PhD in Social Sciences a candidate must normally hold at minimum a Second Class Honours Master's Degree in Social Policy, Sociology or a related discipline. In exceptional circumstances, applications may be accepted from candidates holding a First Class Honours Undergraduate Degree.
  12. In the case of the PhD in Social Work, all candidates will be required to attend a selection interview, in addition to the requirements prescribed by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.
  13. In the case of a PhD in Women's Studies, applicants should normally hold, or expect to hold, an Honours Master's Degree in Women's Studies, or in an appropriate subject.
  14. In the case of the School of Business, suitably qualified candidates (1H or 2H1 in a primary degree) may, with the permission of the Head of School/Department, register on a PhD track (i.e. provisional registration for a PhD) in the first instance. Students will be subject to a review normally within 12 to 18 months from the date of registration and will be required to demonstrate progress in the form of a minimum of 10,000 words of written work, as well as defending their work at interview. Students may then, on the recommendation of the Head of School/Department and the Supervisor(s), transfer to the PhD. Note: There are also specific requirements for the PhD (Business Information Systems) (see here).
  15. In the case of the School of Law, candidates intending to pursue the PhD Degree shall be required to register in the first instance on a PhD track (i.e provisional registration for a PhD). Such students will be subject to a review within 12 to 18 months (or pro rata for part-time students) from the date of registration and will be required to demonstrate progress in the form of a minimum of 10,000 words of written work, as well as being required to make an oral presentation on their work and/or defend their work at interview. The student and the supervisor(s) will also have to complete the prescribed review form (available from the School of Law) detailing the nature of progress made. Students who have successfully passed this review may then, on the recommendation of the School Graduate Studies Committee, and with the approval of the Head of School, transfer to the PhD.
  16. In the case of Engineering, to be admitted to the PhD in Microelectronics, a candidate must have obtained a standard of at least First Class Honours in an approved primary degree. Candidates with equivalent academic qualifications may be accepted subject to examination or such other requirement approved by the College.

Appendix 2: Discipline-Specific Requirements

  1. In the case of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, the length of a PhD Thesis should not exceed 80,000 words, unless there are exceptional circumstances and provided it has the support of the School/Departmental Graduate Studies Committee.
  2. PhD students in the School of Law must register for (unless granted a dispensation by the School of Law Graduate Studies Committee) the 5 credit module LW6004 Research Methods in Law, described under the heading Modules for Postgraduate Training.
  3. In the case of the School of Law, the length of a PhD Thesis should be between 80,000–100,000 words inclusive of footnotes and exclusive of tables, appendices and bibliography (unless there are exceptional circumstances and provided it has the support of the School Graduate Studies Committee).
  4. In the case of the PhD in Archaeology, students are required to take AR6002 Research Skills Seminar (5 credits) in the first year of their studies. Generic skills modules (e.g. as offered by the CACSSS Graduate School) or other relevant modules may be taken to meet the remaining 10 credits required for structured PhD registration in the first or second years, subject to departmental approval.
  5. In the case of the PhD in Creative Performance, candidates will pursue a course of research that includes, or is related to, performance, as agreed with their Supervisor(s). The student is also expected to attend regular individual tutorials with their Supervisor(s) and participate in group workshops. The PhD work for assessment will consist of a portfolio of one or more research-led projects, including and/or related to performance, and critical commentary. The components of the portfolio will be submitted at times to be agreed with the Department of Music.
  6. The PhD in Creative Practice is an interdisciplinary doctoral degree likely to be innovative in form as well as content. Students will be supported to develop structures and weightings between different elements of their doctoral study, as well as to develop new forms, which meet the multi-disciplinary reach of their work. In all iterations of the PhD, original creative practice combines with critical reading, reflection and writing. The design of the structure of the PhD is developed in consultation with the supervisor(s), but will normally include a written element of at least 30,000 words. Students will be required to take at least 15 credits of graduate level courses in one or more of the relevant constituent disciplines of their PhD.
  7. In the case of the PhD in Drama and Theatre Studies, for traditional library-based PhD research, the general provisions for PhD in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences will apply. In the case of practice-based PhD research, the PhD work for assessment will consist of a substantial portfolio of practice and an extensive critical commentary. While both the practical elements and the associated critical commentary will need to reach the appropriate standard, the degree will be awarded or withheld on the basis of the work as a totality.
  8. The PhD in Film and Screen Media (Creative Practice) has two components: practical and critical. The relationship between these components will depend on individual research choices and should be addressed as part of the overall dissertation. The first and main focus of the PhD will be a body of practice-based work designed for exhibition. This may consist of a substantial, original, high quality film or of a coherent portfolio of practical film and screen media work. The second part of the PhD will consist of a critical discussion, based on a body of critical reading and reflection, exploring ideas, themes, and concepts that have a relationship with the creative work being undertaken. This should be written in tandem with the creative practice. The choice of form for this part of the thesis will be at the discretion of the candidate, in consultation with the supervisor. Possibilities include explicit reflection on the creative process or the academic thesis. Normally, this part of the PhD will account for 40,000 words.
  9. Candidates for the PhD Degree in Greek and Roman Civilisation must complete 20 credits of Latin or Greek unless they have already taken either language at minor subject level or higher in their first degree.
  10. In the case of PhD in Microelectronics, during their programme of study students must take modules to the value of 30 credits, at least 15 of which must be taken from an approved list of modules in the field of Microelectronics. In selecting modules, a student is required to consult with his/her supervisor(s), whose approval is required for the modules selected. The primary determinant for the award of the PhD in Microelectronics is the submission of a satisfactory thesis. A candidate must have passed modules to the value of 30 credits and have achieved an aggregate mark of at least 65% across those taught modules which are not assessed on a simple pass/fail basis before a thesis can be submitted for examination.
  11. Students registered for a PhD in Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the School of Chemistry/ABCRF must register for, and successfully complete, the 5 credit module CM6101 in year 1 of the PhD, the 5 credit modules CM7002 and CM7007 in year 2, the 5 credit module CM7003 in year 3 and the 5 credit module CM7006 in year 4.
  12. In the case of the PhD in Original Composition (Music), candidates will pursue a course of research in the form of musical composition, study and personal and professional development as agreed with their Supervisor(s). The student is also expected to attend regular individual tutorials with their Supervisor(s) and group participation in seminars on original composition. The PhD work for assessment will consist of a portfolio of original composition and critical commentaries.
  13. In the case of the PhD in Philosophy, during their programme of study students will normally take course work to the value of 30 credits, at least 20 of which must be taken from an approved list of modules by the Department of Philosophy, including but not limited to PH7001 (this module will not be on offer in 2019/2020). Generic skills modules (e.g. as offered by the CACSSS Graduate School) or other relevant modules may be taken to the value of the remaining credits depending on departmental approval.
  14. In the case of the PhD in Philosophy and Sociology, during their programme of study students will normally take course work to the value of 30 credits, at least 20 of which must be taken from an approved list of modules in both Philosophy and Sociology. Generic skills modules (e.g. as offered by the CACSSS Graduate School) or other relevant modules may be taken to the value of the remaining credits depending on departmental approval.
  15. In the case of the PhD in Social Sciences [applicable to students commencing the programme from 2015/16 onwards] during their programme of study, students will take course work to the value of 30 credits, at least 10 of which must be taken from graduate modules in Applied Social Studies. Generic skills modules (e.g. as offered by the CACSSS Graduate School) or other relevant modules may be taken to the value of the remaining credits depending on the approval of the PhD Social Sciences programme team. Students will be required to participate in peer learning groups and seminars as prescribed by the PhD Social Sciences programme team.
  16. In the case of the PhD in Social Work, during their programme of study students will take a maximum of 30 credits of taught modules, which must include SS7700, SS7701, SS7703 and SS7704 where available. Students will be required to participate in peer learning groups and seminars as prescribed by the PhD Social Work programme team and supervisor(s).
  17. In the case of the PhD in Computer Science, full-time students are required to take CS7003.


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